Yo Quiero Scripting News?
Wednesday, May 6, 1998 by Dave Winer.
I should never take three-day weekends.
When I come back, all I can do is laugh at the stupid little trivial circle of software and the Internet, and transparent lies and staged emotions. Artificial life, artificial struggles, what is it all about? Is it even interesting?
Imagine this -- a rally in New York to plead the economic case for Microsoft, the richest company in the world.
Is there anything he won't do?
And why does he do it?
"Some day I'm going to make it, and when I make it, they'll forget the things they say."
This was a line from a song written by a teenage friend of mine, when I was a teenager. I was a sound man (or more accurately sound boy) for the band. I liked being around the creativity, even if I wasn't a singer or a guitar player, I liked to design sound systems with very little money.
Hey, so, the problem with the line is that it isn't true.
A more accurate line would be "Some day I'm going to make it, and when I make it, people will say 'He's rich, so why should I worry about him?'"
Or, "Some day I'm going to make it, and when I make it, people will say 'The house is too big, they can't be happy there.'"
When you make it, people don't want to hear what you have to say any more than they did before you made it. In fact, I think they want to hear you even less. Listening isn't based on how much money you have. Write that down and remember it. If you're waiting to be heard and think that having money will make a difference, trust me, it won't.
Look at Bill Gates! Could he possibly make more money? Could it possibly make a difference to him, to his family, to the government, to anyone? What does he want to buy with that money? Isn't that why you make money, so you can buy things? I'm really confused. Is there another purpose to money that I haven't figured out yet? I wonder I wonder.
Hey, one thing's for sure, people think more about rich people, but don't confuse that with listening. Are any of those thoughts grounded in reality? When we talk about Gates are we talking about a man or a huge bank account? I have no idea. Probably neither. What we say has more to do with ourselves. We give our pain to Gates, and he must like it, or else why is he always in such great position to receive our pain?
I've been exchanging email with a fellow named Lymond, he says it's just a made up name, that he's really a famous person, but I don't care. He sent me a limerick about what it's like snuggling up with Bill Gates:
There once was a lady from Niger who smiled as she rode on a tiger. They returned from the ride with the lady inside and the smile on the face of the tiger.
I'm going to think about this one.
I always catch onto these things late. I got into the Macarena just as people were getting sick of it. At the local record store the clerk says "Now you can be the last person on your block to get the Macarena!" It's so funny! And it happened again.
For the last few weeks my favorite commercials have been the ones with the stupid Taco Bell dog. In the first commercial he's walking up a fire escape, and then pauses in a window and asks a man inside an apartment for some of his Taco Bell, probably a taco, but we find out later that they may also have burritos.
Later in the series the dog is playing basketball with Shaquille O'Neil, and speaking at huge rallies in revolutionary Mexico. He always has one thing to say. Yo quiero Taco Bell! (I want Taco Bell!)
Anyway, they've had a few misses, but mostly it's been very intriguing TV advertising. I can imagine it would be irritating if you didn't like the dog, but I really do like the dog, especially the way his eyebrows move, so I always watch the commercials when they come on.
I thought I had seen it all until last night when I saw a Jack In the Box ad, with Jack, the antenna-top version, talking to a stupid dog that looks just the one in the Taco Bell commercials. He's lecturing him. He says "Of course you like Taco Bell, but you're a dog!"
Jack rambles a little, they show some pictures of their sandwiches (totally unnecessary) and then the camera focuses the dog, looking very embarassed, and Jack asks confidently, OK, now who ate the beans?" The dog gets a really nervous sick look on his face, just like in the Taco Bell commercials, and the commercial ends.
It just proves that there's more going on in the world than the Internet and money and the struggle to be heard. The dog is cool, and Taco Bell owns him, for a while. Then some ad guy at some agency realizes that he could get a dog too and that dog could eat dog food and like all dogs that we love, the dog farts. Yay!
It's great when we have the courage to laugh. Competition with humor is the best idea. Remember IBM's nuns and the Internet? Let's have fun. Why not? Everyone's so serious. Me too. Let's get over it before life is over.
I forgive Chris Nolan and all the other women who joke about training men to be their idea of what a man should be. Let's also forgive the men who go for that in a woman. We all have our struggles, me too. I suppose I want to train women, and they resist that. I want to train the world to listen to me, but the world resists that too. Over and over we learn the lesson that we're just little pups with grand visions, waiting to lead a revolution, wanting to be heard by someone, anyone, lest we die in anonymity. In the end we die, and who cares? Probably no one. It happens every day.
The universe is so damned big. Billions and billions of galaxies. Every one of them filled with chihuahuas and captains of industry. None of them get out of it alive. What's it all about? Who knows? No one.
This piece just goes on and on.
Steve rode the Bill Gates tiger last August and he's still smiling.
Fresh from a probably orchestrated victory with Intuit (look, a developer comes back to the Mac), it looks like a great win, but Intuit's CEO is an Apple director and in all likelihood knew exactly what Apple's plans are.
Jobs is still the great orchestrator. But as a Mac developer, I wonder if I shouldn't stage a real protest, not orchestrated, just to show that some developers never left the Mac.
A fascinating discussion on the Frontier-XML mail list about whether XML is really that juicy or if it will turn out to be another SGML with more headlines?
It could go that way, or there could be bridges that make all kinds of things work with XML without a single line of code changing.
It's great that Apple has figured out that there's value in QuickTime, now I'd like them to take a look at the Apple Event Manager. It's the number two wire protocol, it connects together a unique set of applications (BBEdit, WebSTAR, Quark XPress, the web browsers, pretty much everything). The only protocol with more support is Microsoft's Common Object Model, aka COM.
We're bridging these two protocols thru XML. Hey, that could mean something for Apple. It could also mean something for XML.
One more thing then I gotta go.
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